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Need help designing a PCB smaller than this one

Discussion in 'Circuit Simulation & PCB Design' started by Michael Smith, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Michael Smith

    Michael Smith New Member

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    I have a PCB made by the electric engineer but we need to make it smaller, maybe stacked? i have seen other GPS simcard designs Stacked, we have no experience designing PCB, maybe you guys can help us make a smaller design keeping all the components.

    Thanks in advance for any help
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  2. JonSea

    JonSea Well-Known Member

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    Rather than using a collection of separate dev boards piled together, you might want to consider a purpose-built board.

    It looks like you have a GPS, SD card, a couple DC-DC converters and an ESP8266 board? It should be possible to make this quite a bit smaller.

    What is the maximum size you can handle, snd what power supply is available?
     
  3. Michael Smith

    Michael Smith New Member

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    a purpose-built board is a good idea, but what about the prices? is not that more expensive?

    We have GPS, GPRS, WIFI ESP8266, Ina219 Current Sensor, DC-DC converters, the power supply is directly from a car current, 12v.

    The goal about the size its to make at least half of what i have now (that is why i thought stacked might work), and more professional design to be able to reproduce this in large scale, right now the production is made by hand. Also we need some casing for this, after we have a final PCB design.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. JonSea

    JonSea Well-Known Member

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    It's impossible to beat the prices you can get on assembled modules from China; usually you can't even buy the components themselves for that price!

    One thing you might consider is building a printed circuit "mother" board that the modules can be soldered to. This would vastly simplify assembly because you wouldn't have to make all the connections by hand. This would also improve reliability with better connection to all the modules. It would still be a collection of modules; it wouldn't look too professional, but it would be an improvement over what you have now. You could also consider moving some of the functions to the mother board, like the SD card connector.

    If you could get it down to 100mm x 100mm or smaller, custom circuit boards from China would only be a dollar or two, when purchased 10 at a time.

    If you are considering an off the shelf enclosure, pick it first and design the boards (how ever you decide to do it) to fit. Otherwise, you may not find something to fit what you made very well.
     
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  6. Michael Smith

    Michael Smith New Member

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    Can you help me make a design for that circuit "mother", or even better if an assembled module is cheaper lets go with that, i am open to suggestions, like i said, i have zero experience here
     
  7. Michael Smith

    Michael Smith New Member

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    I am looking at a module ai-Thinker A7 GPS+GPRS, this one contains both in one, saves space, can you help me integrate all the components in a smaller design? Thanks
     
  8. JonSea

    JonSea Well-Known Member

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    That looks like a great step to combine a number of pieces into one. The fewer pieces you have to the connect, the more compact and reliable your design can be.
     
  9. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Do you have or use any CAD program, such as EAGLE?

    If so, simply make a device (i.e., symbol + package) for each component. Connect the symbols, then arrange the packages to get your mother board. You will have to decide whether to solder most connections or use socketed connectors.
     

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